Kelly End of austerity? It doesn’t add up
tobacco advertising which was a key plank of its election manifesto.
Blair used the straight sort of guy comment to assure the public it was all just an unfortunate coincidence. Several coincidences down the line and after Iraq, Teflon Tony had morphed into Tony ‘Bliar’ or Toxic Tony in the eyes of the public.
And now we have Chancellor Philip Hammond, who has taken to calling himself ‘Fiscal Phil’.
The literal translation of fiscal is something relating to government revenue, especially taxes, so in effect it’s a nickname relating to the job he does, like Postman Pat.
The only difference is Postman Pat doesn’t deliver on a Sunday while Hammond doesn’t deliver on any day of the week.
Take his Budget speech last week in which he said ‘after everyone’s hard work, austerity is nearly over’.
The date the end of austerity will be delivered was not given while his words were some way from Theresa May’s promise at the Tory party conference that it was actually over.
It will only be truly over when food banks are closed because they weren’t needed, when councils get the cash they need to re-launch the vital services they have had to slash, and when Universal Credit is either stopped or properly funded so the five-week wait for the first payment is gotten rid of.
Also, when poverty rates go down and not up, wages in real terms go up and not down and the 1% freeze on public sector workers is lifted for all and not just a select few, and raised to above the rate of inflation.
According to the Resolution Foundation, ‘ending austerity’ in relation to schools, hospitals and social security would cost £30bn by the end of the Parliament – considerably less than the bank bailout cost of £137bn.
Ending austerity, while also keeping debt falling as a share of the economy, will therefore require tax rises particularly among the wealthy – something Hammond is ideological incapable of delivering. Chancellor Philip Hammond, otherwise known as ‘Fiscal Phil’